Recourse vs Non-recourse Loan: What's Best For You & Pros & Cons of Each

By Chika


Last Updated: April 23, 2022


When applying for a loan, there are a plethora of factors to consider. Factors such as the comfort level with the lender, the amount that can be afforded reasonably, and interest rates are significant factors that could influence your decision.

Perhaps the most important factor to consider is whether the loan is a recourse or non-recourse loan.

Both types of loans have implications for your finances in the short term and long term in terms of repayment commitments and the consequences of defaulting. It is always a good idea to learn more about the differences between nonrecourse and other forms of loans. 

Read on to learn what each type of loan involves to better determine which is the right choice for you.


What is the Difference Between Recourse and Non-recourse loans? 

What is a Recourse Loan?

A recourse loan is a secured loan for which the lender can seize more than just the collateral if the borrower defaults. The lender is also able to seize other assets that are not listed as collateral, including income and money in bank accounts.

In essence, the lender has additional recourse to recoup their losses.

If a borrower defaults on a recourse mortgage, the lender may take possession of the property. To collect any leftover debt, the lender may go after any other significant assets the debtor holds, as well as remove money from the borrower's bank accounts.

If the borrower has no other assets or accounts, the lender may be allowed to garnish the borrower's salary until the loan is paid off.

Recourse loans, on the other hand, are easier to obtain and qualify for, and they usually come with lower interest rates.


What is a Non-recourse Loan?

A non-recourse loan is a secured loan in which the lender is prohibited from seizing assets that were not pledged as collateral in the loan agreement. If a borrower pledges collateral on a secured loan, the lender can seize just that asset if the borrower fails on the debt.

To repay their loan loss, the lender will usually sell the asset. 

Even if the collateralized asset's sale does not satisfy the loan's balance, the lender has no other option than to seize it. As such, if a person takes out a non-recourse mortgage on a house and misses on payments, the lender has the right to seize the property.

It is the lender's loss if the home's value has dropped.

Non-recourse loans have two essential characteristics: they are more difficult to get and have higher interest rates than recourse loans. Because non-recourse loans are riskier for the lender, this is the case.

It's critical to have excellent financials and a high credit score when applying for a non-recourse loan.


Recourse vs Nonrecourse Loans

Collateral can be used to secure both recourse and nonrecourse debt, which a lender can confiscate in the case of nonpayment. The greatest distinction between the two is that a nonrecourse loan prevents the lender from pursuing additional assets possessed by the borrower to settle the obligation. In essence, the lender has no other option for debt payback than the collateral that guarantees the loan.



Pros & Cons of Recourse vs Non-recourse Loans

Pros of Recourse Loans

Recourse debt is more favorable to the lender than the borrower because this type of debt gives the lender more avenues to collect when a debt goes unpaid. Approval for recourse loans, on the other hand, may be easier since they pose less risk for lenders. Interest rates on recourse loans are also lower than those on non-recourse loans because the lender has the right to seize other assets not listed as collateral.

Cons of Recourse Loans

A major shortcoming of recourse loans is that the lender can seize other assets not listed as collateral. By this, inadvertently, the borrower assumes greater risk by taking out a recourse loan. 

Pros of Nonrecourse Loans

In the event of default, a nonrecourse loan is more advantageous to the borrower. In that case, the lender could only seize the collateralized asset and could not claim any of the borrower's other assets. As a result, the lenders' assets remain safe.

When a borrower defaults, non-recourse financing is typically riskier for the lender because they can only recover the collateral. As a result, lenders may charge higher interest rates on nonrecourse loans, and applicants may be required to fulfill stricter credit scores and income criteria in order to qualify.

Cons of Nonrecourse loans

The borrower's credit can be negatively affected if the lender must write off the uncollected debt.

Interest rates may be high. If you don't pay your loan, the lender can seize your collateral, sell it, and use the money to pay off your obligation. Basically, if you default on your obligation, you lose something of tremendous worth for less money.

You're still accountable for the outstanding amount if the value of the collateral falls short of the obligation dollar for dollar, and the lender may seek additional collection action against you.


Recourse vs Nonrecourse Loans

Only when a borrower is ready to default should they be concerned about whether they have recourse or nonrecourse debt. It shouldn't make a difference whether a loan is a recourse or nonrecourse as long as the payments are made on time.

 As such, the most important thing you need to sort out before taking a loan is your repayment plan. Having a workable plan to repay the loan will reduce stress and enable you to plan adequately. 

However, if you're worried about falling behind on a loan, it's a good idea to conduct some research before borrowing.

When applying for a house loan, for example, knowing whether the loan is classified as recourse or nonrecourse debt under the rules of a given state will aid in the decision-making process.

Another alternative to reducing the chances of default is paying a higher down payment on the loan. This does not only reduce the amount of money you would borrow, but also the interest rates that would accrue on the loan. 


Recourse vs Non-recourse Loans: Choose what's best for you

Ultimately, the borrower must choose what is best for them and their financial situation. Some borrowers may prefer a house loan with a lower down payment in order to save more money in the bank in the event of a future financial crisis.

If a person is getting ready to apply for a car loan, he or she could think about buying a vehicle with a greater resale value or putting down a larger down payment. When a borrower fails for whatever reason, one of these solutions may be able to help them avoid going into default.

If you notice that you may default, it is important that you contact your lender or creditor. This builds trust and offers the borrower a chance to ask for an extension, refinancing, or temporary payment assistance.

This can come in the form of credit card hardship programs, student loan forbearance or deferral, mortgage forbearance, or postponing auto loan payments. Reaching out before a payment is missed might help you avoid losing assets and have a bad influence on your credit score.



Recourse vs Non-Recourse Loans: Which is Best for You?

The borrower benefits from nonrecourse debt, whereas the lender profits from recourse debt. However, you're unlikely to have much of a choice between a recourse and a non-recourse loan when it comes to financing options.

If both options are available, your financial situation may impact your decision on whether to take out a recourse or non-recourse loan.

A recourse loan may be a good option for those with bad credit since a lender may offer low-interest rates in exchange for additional routes to collect their losses if required.

A nonrecourse loan, on the other hand, may be a good option for someone who has good credit and a steady income since the lender may see them as a low-risk borrower who doesn't need any additional assets to secure the loan.

Want to know more? Read this next: The 5 Things You Should Know if You Have Bad Credit & Want to Buy a Home 

Photo by Pavel Danilyuk


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *